She read it back then, and she pointed out to me that she knew it was for her. I felt dumb, because I had been caught.
I have consciously added my old contacts to my new phones for years; each time, my grandmother’s information is included. The number doesn’t work anymore. But it’s in there.
I once called her as a kid because I was aimlessly baking cookies that had gotten away from me. It was so simple, she said. Butter and milk and vanilla and confectioner’s sugar make glaze.
She called later to see how they turned out. And she reminded me each time I made cookies thereafter. She gave it as much care and attention as she did the time she told me to move on from the fourteen year-old boy who, years later, grew up into a man I once almost married. She was no longer mentally present when that last part didn’t happen, of course.
But afterward, I did get my shit together. And I did tell a bunch of people I am queer for the first time in my life. And I did end up with a really challenging job I didn’t think I could acquire, let alone actually do. And I did end some friendships and mend some friendships. And I don’t flip out over dumb stuff anymore. And I have words now when I need to talk. And I have people who listen, like she did. And I think I listen a little bit better, too.
I have wanted to call her so many times in the last however long. The phone doesn’t make sense to her anymore. I suppose in some way [like this way] I could still talk to her. I am seeing her this month, you know.
Last year, she held my hands and we walked to the cafeteria together. She told me my hair was beautiful. She doesn’t worry so much anymore, because she doesn’t necessarily understand what there is to worry about. And she eats her dessert first.
This week, I followed suit: without pants at the kitchen counter yanking at my hair mouth full of cookies while dinner cooked finally texting people back and wondering how on earth I could make time to worry because everything will turn out okay always please and thank you because last year’s mountains are this year’s molehills even though some mountains are still mountains and I made it this far and once upon a time there was someone in the world who loved me enough to transcend years of missing her presence to remind me to enjoy what I do have and maybe the point is we are lucky to ever have anything at any point in time regardless of how long or short we can have it and
maybe it’s the marshmallows or the opiates in the poppy seeds or the bright yellow color and the sweet lemon tang
but I am glad that something reminded me.
One Year: S’mores Squares
Two Years: Mango, Black Bean, and Avocado Salsa
Three Years: Peach Strawberry Lassi
Four Years: Jalapeño Cilantro Cold Rice Noodle Salad with Gingery Peanut Sauce
Turmeric Poppyseed Cookies with Marshmallow Glaze
Makes 10-12 Cookies
4 tbsp unsalted butter
2 cups mini marshmallows
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 tsp lemon zest
2-3 tbsp heavy cream
1 1/2 cups confectioner’s sugar
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 baking soda
1/4 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup sugar
2 tsp lemon zest
1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 egg yolk
1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 1/2 tbsp poppy seeds
In a small saucepan on low, melt butter. Keeping the heat on low, stir in marshmallows until melted and velvety, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and transfer to a medium-sized bowl. Stir in vanilla extract, lemon zest, and heavy cream. Beat in confectioner’s sugar in half cupfuls until incorporated. Let cool completely before using. Meanwhile, bake cookies.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, turmeric, and salt. In a large bowl, rub lemon zest into sugar with fingers until fragrant. Beat in sugar until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Beat in egg, then egg yolk. Beat in vanilla extract. Beat in dry ingredients in thirds, then stir in poppy seeds. Scoop dough in heaping, rounded tablespoonfuls, spacing out on baking sheet about 2 inches apart. Bake 8 minutes total, rotating halfway through, until the cookies are just slightly underdone in the middle. Let set 1 minute before transferring to rack to cool completely. Repeat until remaining dough is gone. Once cookies are completely cool, frost with marshmallow glaze. Let the glaze set before serving. Cookies will last up to two days.